Officials working on long-term solution for contamination near I-696 in Madison Heights

Green substance found oozing onto freeway

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – Officials are working on a long-term fix after a green substance was discovered seeping onto I-696 in Madison Heights on Dec. 20.

The substance was found on the eastbound side of the roadway, near the Couzens Road exit.

It was identified as hexavalent chromium.

The immediate threat has been contained, but now officials are looking into a long-term solution for groundwater that has been contaminated. Officials are expected to do extensive soil tests to see where the hazardous material has traveled.

Officials said the substance is coming from the basement of the now-condemned Electro-Plating Services on 10 Mile Road, which was the site of a massive cleanup in 2016 due to improperly stored hazardous waste.

The business’ owner, Gary Sayers, will serve time behind bars in connection with hazardous waste that was stored without a permit at the site. Prosecutors told the judge it took nearly $1.5 million of taxpayers money and more than a year to clean up the hazardous mess.

Officials said the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality knew about violations for years and allowed the business to remain open.

READ: Madison Heights business owner sentenced in connection with hazardous waste storage

The leak is happening in Oakland County but there’s no question the hexavalent chromium is in the storm sewers, which means it has been going through Macomb County and into Lake St. Clair.

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